Gulf peace, stability vital for India, Modi tells Iranian Minister

Gulf peace, stability vital for India, Modi tells Iranian Minister

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India has "strong interest" in peace, security and stability in the Gulf region.

The Prime Minister reiterated India's continued commitment to developing strong and friendly relations with Iran.

Modi made these remarks when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is here to attend the high profile geo-strategic global conference Raisina Dialogue, called on him.

"The Foreign Minister (Zarif) shared his perspectives on the recent developments in the region. The Prime Minister mentioned India's strong interest in peace, security and stability in the region," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said later.

Earlier in the day, Zarif also met NSA Ajit Doval and also said that India can play a key role in de-escalating the situation in the Gulf.

The meeting between Mr Modi and the Iranian Minister has its significance as it comes days after the killing of top Iranian commander Maj General Qasseem Soleimani in a US strike.

The Prime Minister thanked Iranian leadership for the progress in Chabahar project, including designating it as Special Economic Zone.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has been in touch with his counterparts from Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other counterparts from United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar underlining the need to de-escalate the situation and defuse the crisis.

Zarif told the global leadership conference Raisina Dialogue here on Wednesday that in as many as 430 Indian cities and towns, there were protests and meetings to condemn killing of Iranian commander Qasseem Soleimani.

"You have seen the reaction (to Soleimani's killing), not just in Iran. I was surprised to hear that in 430 Indian cities, spontaneous demonstrations and meetings were held to commemorate General Soleimani. Now, the US talks about proxies, do we have proxies in India," he said. (UNI)